Sound — 9
This guitar has fit me as my style evolved from alternative to a more diverse range including prog, post-hardcore, reggae, jazz, indie, and even some classical. I run my guitar through a DigiTech RP1000 and a Peavey Vypyr 75 watt amp. Combined with the digitech, I am able to get pretty much any sound I want out of this guitar. The heavy body and pickups have a nice thick sound to it. The neck pickup can become muddy when using distortion, but sounds perfect playing clean and the bridge has a nice tone to it for a stock pickup, but I would like it to be a little more hot. While it sounds very much like a Gibson Les Paul, you can hear discernible differences in the sound, but the price difference makes up for that.
Overall Impression — 8
This guitar has been great for the the past 3 years I've had it. I've been able to get any sound I want from it without fail. If it were stolen or lost, I would not buy it again as I'm saving up for a PRS Custom 24. If I were wanting to replace this guitar though, I would more likely buy a used Gibson for a similar or slightly more expensive price than I paid for this. I love the value for the price, but had I the experience I have now I probably would have gone with a smaller brand such as Washburn or Agile that produces similar or even better quality instruments for cheaper or comparable prices. I hate the weight of it, and over the few years it has really messed my shoulder up, which is one of the reasons I'd like to get a PRS. I would replace the pickups if I weren't saving for another guitar, but the stock ones more than suffice.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I've had this guitar for 3 years, and it's been pretty reliable. I play in my church's band and the only problems I've had there are a loose strap button (my fault from stripping the hole) and a loose input socket, which is common on lower end guitars. The bridge had rusted about a years ago I guess from sweat buildup so I had swapped it out for a Gotoh bridge, and a few of the screws close to where my picking hand lies have rusted as well. The pickup selector has become loose a few times but nothing I couldn't fix myself. The guitar took a nasty fall when my dog knocked it over and there was a crack in the neck by the headstock but that was fixed, so the wood seems sturdy.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action was perfect for me right of the factory, and I had it set up and did not notice too big of a difference, except for the pickups which needed adjustment. The neck wans't properly taped off on the body so a little bit of the finish is on the binding but that is no big deal. On Where Where the fretboard attaches to the neck by the headstock though, it wasn't pressed exactly flush and there is a crack but I had that repaired after I had an accident with my guitar.
Features — 8
The guitar was made in May of 2008 in Korea, and I purchased it in October of 2008. There are 22 frets on a rosewood fretboard, mahogany neck with pearloid inlays, carved mahogany body, with an alder top. The headstock features Grover tuners. The volume knobs work, but I feel like they don't work fade smoothly. The tone knobs work fine though.